Today marks 100 days on our countdown to our Walt Disney World trip. We celebrated our 10 year wedding anniversary earlier this month and will (finally) be going back to Walt Disney World this November to celebrate. A lot can change in a decade, so I am very excited to go back and see what is new in the parks and experience it all again with our kids.
Neither of us had been to Disney World before our wedding. I first saw that Disney did weddings while watching an episode of A Wedding Story and somewhat jokingly suggested it never expecting my future husband to be on board with the idea. Once it came time to actually start planning a wedding, I was thrilled that he agreed to it and even more thrilled when our family and close friends were willing to come along for our big day.
Our Wedding Day
On July 17 10 years ago I was waking up at the Caribbean Beach Resort at the ungodly hour of 4:30 am to get my hair and makeup ready for my big day. As the minutes ticked down to our 6 am Magic Kingdom photo shoot, I grew more and more nervous that my hair and makeup lady would not show up. Did I mess up the dates or times? My wonderful sister and maid of honor even went so far as to call down to the front desk to see if they had a curling iron to borrow and I rudely told her “You can’t do my wedding hair!!!” in almost tears. Luckily my hairdresser did show up in the nick of time and she was trained in doing quick up-dos on movie sets so she was able to get it done. I am not sure it was exactly what I was hoping for in terms of my hair and make-up, but it was a huge sense of relief to actually have my hair up and my tiara in place.
My husband-to-be got his first look at his bride right before we loaded in the photographer’s van to make our way over to the Magic Kingdom. It was truly magical to be in the park before opening. It felt like we had the Magic Kingdom all to ourselves and it was great to have some calm, quiet moments with just the two of us before our ceremony and reception later that day.
Back from our photo shoot, it was still fairly early so my bridesmaids and I headed to the resort food court to have breakfast. Who wouldn’t want Mickey waffles before saying “I Do”? The food court was a bit of a hike from our rooms and were all in full wedding attire, including heels.
To get back to our room, my sisters and I decided it would be best to hop on a bus as it made its way around the resort. From what we had seen in the previous days, the bus normally stopped at each building along the way so it should have been easy to hop off at our rooms
As the bus passed each building, my stomach sank in realization that it was headed straight from the food court stop and right out of the resort. My sister went up to confirm with the bus driver where he was going, and sure enough he was headed straight to the Magic Kingdom. We didn’t have time to go all the way to the Magic Kingdom and back before the wedding, so my sister begged the bus driver to just stop and let us off. He gave her a spiel about not being about to do it for safety reasons so my take-action sister turned and informed the whole busload of people what was happening. Before I knew it, the whole bus began to chant in unison “Let the bride off the bus!!!” and the driver reluctantly stopped at the front entrance to let us off. It was a mix of embarrassment and great relief as we made the walk back to our room.
Once back at the room, the limo arrived to take us to the Yacht and Beach club where I finally got to meet with the wedding planner we had been communicating with over the past year. Around 10:30 am, I walked down the aisle towards my husband-to-be waiting at the gazebo, while a harpist and flutist softly played Disney songs in the background. Our wedding was fairly short and simple, with a small candle lighting unity ceremony.
We then shared a quick first dance and toasted with a couple bottles of Disney’s signature Fairytale Cuvee. Since we had not said personal vows during the ceremony, we also took the opportunity here to confess our love with short personal speeches for one another.
And we ate cake! Our two tiered wedding cake consisted of a top layer of almond cake with raspberry filling and a bottom layer of chocolate cake with boston cream filling. The outside was covered in a creamy white buttercream, and Mickey and Minnie stood atop decked out in their finest wedding wear. The cake was one of the most delicious cakes I have tasted and I was happy to see it make its way back to our hotel room afterwards for us to be able pull it out of the mini fridge and enjoy by the forkful straight out of the box for several days afterwards.
We went with an 10 am wedding time because we were afraid of the afternoon Florida heat in the middle of July. Instead of a dinner, we planned a lovely private lunch for all our guests at the California Grill. The food was amazing and our private dining room even had a balcony right off it overlooking the park. Unfortunately not all our guests made it, with two of them having gotten a touch of heat stroke from long days in the parks the day before. They were troopers to have made it through the ceremony, but we were sad to see them sick and missing out on the rest of the day.
Following lunch, we headed back to our rooms to change out of our dresses and tuxedos and make our way over to Epcot. Because my husband and I were staying in separate locations at that point we had not planned very well for transportation, and my sisters and I ended up riding the monorail and bus back to our resort, still in our full wedding attire. There is a rule that you are not allowed to wear wedding attire in Disney parks and I quickly understood why with all the pointing and whispers of “look, there’s a princess!” from many of the kids I passed. Way to make a girl feel special!
By mid afternoon, the combination of being up way too early and having a few cocktails at lunch hit me and had me questioning my decision to book a dessert party that evening. I would have loved nothing more then a long nap at that point in the day, but Epcot called!
It initially took some convincing to get my husband on board with the idea of having a private dessert reception. I feel like I was already pushing my luck having him agree to a Disney Wedding in the first place, but wanted a little something more then just the lunch reception. The Illuminations dessert reception ended up being the perfect end to our day. No one does a fireworks show like Disney and to have a private viewing area made it that much more spectacular. The selections of sweets was amazing and it was a nice way to experience the Disney magic with (almost) all our guests.
Our wedding day did not go exactly as planned, but looking back I loved all the little mishaps along the way. It was an amazing trip and I am thankful for everyone that was able to travel all that distance to celebrate with us. My only real big regret from the day that between us and the photographer, no one seemed to catch that we missed getting the standard wedding photo with just us and the entire wedding party. We got a big group shot and many great shots of me with my bridesmaids and my husband with his groomsmen, just not all of us together. Luckily we had all kinds of great photos and memories to make up for this.
It is hard to believe it has already been 10 years and we are now headed back with a 5 and 7 year old. It will be a bit of a different trip this time, but I am sure it is going to be just as magical and mishap filled!